We have all been there before — where we've been presented with an opportunity, we jump on it and then we realize that this is not what we originally wanted, at least not 100 percent of the time. I know that especially as a young black woman living in an age where doing it all is still normalized, many things can leave me broken and uninspired. Never has it been more apparent that being “strong” is the conducive cousin to danger. When the thought and most logical choice to walk away presents itself, it's not only hard externally but a bigger raging war internally.
I myself am living up to the narrative that black women are supposed to be strong and only strong because anything else is socially unfamiliar and just plain strange. However, in the same sense, I see myself breaking down the more I try to hold onto things that no longer serve the pretense of my wellbeing. If there is one thing that I have learned and am trying to unlearn is the “do what you have to do” and the “I’ll just do it myself” mentality. It’s honestly the equivalent to performing the fatality move in Mortal Kombat, but instead of inflicting pain on others, you’re inflicting the pain on yourself.
Although that mentality is necessary in some cases, it becomes problematic when it's the sole nature of your every move. In a matter of months, this mentality has given me poor sleeping habits, a terrible lack of focus, somewhat awful eating habits, horrible breakouts and the honest reflection of where I am at 24 — stressed out and over it, sis.
Taking on more than you can handle does not make you superwoman, and deciding to say no or to detach yourself from something suddenly unbecoming in your transformative process does not make you a damsel in distress. If anything, it reminds the woman staring at her reflection that she, too, is human.
The bigger question, however, is how do you exactly walk away? After months of fighting yourself and putting others before you, how do you walk away? The answer is something that I have a hard time accepting and that is to just do it. Not in the Angela Bassett Waiting to Exhale way (even though that would be a badass and symbolic way to throw the deuces), but in a way where you can respectfully acknowledge your work and everything you brought to the table. After all, walking away doesn’t mean that your work was in vain or that you were weak.
Sometimes, walking away is the strongest statement you can give yourself. Learn how to let it go. No matter how our big sis Queen Bey makes it look wearing that yellow dress, it’s not easy, but it's apart of your journey. On this same journey, you will find that the expectations of others will soon be an echoing voice that you no longer recognize. The toxicity will fall to a minimum and your peace will become so familiar again. Take the plunge, it’s worth it all and more.